Mar 31

A Living Hope

Todd Pruitt |Series: Easter |1 Peter 1:3-9

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, the gospel writers record Peter’s efforts to thwart God’s plan of redemption. He did this in ignorance of course. He simply could not conceive of a scenario in which his sins required Jesus to die. Peter was impetuous, often speaking and acting with insufficient thought. And while at times he was courageous, on that fateful Thursday when Jesus was arrested, he gave way to cowardice.

Following Jesus’ cruel death on the cross Peter hid himself, fearful of further reprisals from the religious authorities. He seemed to have had no expectation that there was any merit in Jesus’ promise to rise up from the dead. But it was Peter who, along with John, ran to the tomb on that Easter morning when they received the incredible report from the women who witnessed the tomb empty. Ultimately, Jesus restored Peter and appointed him an apostle.

The next time we see Peter he is boldly preaching to the gathered multitude in Jerusalem of God’s gracious salvation to the elect in the crucified and risen Christ. He went on to help build and give leadership to the fledgling church. By the time he wrote his two epistles, Peter was a wise and godly apostle, gentle in temperament and courageous in his witness. It has been said that if Paul is the apostle of grace and John is the apostle of love, Peter is the apostle of hope.

In his first epistle, after greeting and offering a blessing to his readers, Peter opens wide the floodgate and releases a series of truths so wide and deep that it challenges the reader to take it all in. Indeed, this first section of Peter’s letter contains as dense a proclamation of essential Christian truth as can be found anywhere in the New Testament. And at the headwaters of this flood of truth are the words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (vs. 3).

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